Posted in Air, Critters, Death, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Home, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering

A Monday meander

"I offer you..." (The meaning of a leaf of Virginia Creeper in the Language of Flowers found in J. C. Thomas' "Manual of Useful Information," published 1895.)
“I offer you…” (The meaning of a leaf of Virginia Creeper in the Language of Flowers found in J. C. Thomas’ “Manual of Useful Information,” published 1895.)

You are perfect, only you don’t know it.
Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love.
Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.
Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of the love you bear for yourself;
all I plead with you is this: make love of yourself perfect.
Deny yourself nothing – give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that
you do not need them; you are beyond.

— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Reaching down.
Reaching down.

As I was out walking this morning, I wondered about this world we live in.  It is a beautiful, terrible place.  I wonder if we humans will ever learn to live with one another in love and peace, or will there always be fear, hate, killing, and war.  Alas, I have no answers, and the only person I have any control over is myself and even that is debatable so let’s move on to something else for now.

A baby bunny.
A baby bunny.

You might remember that my words for this year are curiosity and reverence, and those words have brought me to an unexpected place.  I find myself looking inside rather than outside.  I have become curious about myself.  Who is this person that I think I am?  Who is it that despairs, that laughs, that loves, that fears, that wonders, that questions?

Bumblebee on lavender.
Bumblebee on lavender.

Over the weekend I listened to talk by Tara Brach about reverence and love.  Many wise people have advised that to love others, we have to start with love and reverence for ourselves.  John O’Donohue wrote:

You can never love another person unless you are equally involved in the beautiful but difficult spiritual work of learning to love yourself.  There is within each of us, at the soul level, an enriching fountain of love.  In other words, you do not have to go outside yourself to know what love is.  This is not selfishness, and it is not narcissism; they are negative obsessions with the need to be loved.  Rather this is the wellspring of love within the heart.  Through their need for love, people who lead solitary lives often stumble upon this great fountain.  They learn to whisper awake the deep well of love within.  This is not a question of forcing yourself to love yourself.  It is more a question of exercising reserve, of inviting the wellspring of love that is, after all, your deepest nature to flow through your life.

~ Excerpted from Anam Cara

The first zinnia of the season.
The first zinnia of the season.

Listening to Ms. Brach’s talk, there were a number of things that struck me in the way a chime does at the end of a meditation, rippling through me in waves.  The first was that we should have love and reverence for ourselves in the same way that we have love and reverence for our spouses or our children or a tree or animals or whatever it is we love and revere.  Sometimes in my quest to be as kind and compassionate with myself as I am with my loved ones and friends (and the trees and the earth), I forget that I am just as worthy of those things as I believe others to be.

The yucca plant expresses its joy in flowers.
The yucca plant expresses its joy in flowers.

The second was that in order to open our hearts to love and reverence, we must first forgive ourselves whatever trespasses we think/know we’ve committed.  Without that, we contract and live from a sense of fear rather than love, trying to control everything rather than be the free and spontaneous people we are meant to be.

Open, vulnerable, and full of life.
Open, vulnerable, and full of life.

The third was to give thanks to ourselves, to express gratitude for this life, this body, this being that allows us to experience this life.

The meditation Ms. Brach suggested was to say to yourself “I’m sorry, I love you, thank you.”  Or you could reframe it as “It’s okay (or you’re forgiven), I love you, thank you.”

A wing and a prayer.
A wing and a prayer.

I’m not going anywhere with this.  Just meandering and sharing what I learned by listening to Ms. Brach.  During her talk, she shared this quote:

The Mother of the Universe refuses to let me worship her outside myself anymore. She has withdrawn inside me and tells me if I want to know her I have to come inside, too, which is the last place I want to be. Although she’s been telling me for years, she’s never gone to this extreme before – of actually hiding inside me. If I want to love her, I can only do it by loving myself now.

~ Cassia Berman

Rising up.
Rising up.

I think the voice of the Mother of the Universe must be a very soft whisper.  We have to listen carefully if we want to hear her.  Or maybe we just have to be willing to listen.  Yes, I think that’s more likely.

Sometimes they get along.
Sometimes they get along.

Thank you for meandering along with me on this beautiful Monday.  The weather today has been delightful.  Cooler and drier than what we experienced over the weekend.  There are some high, thin clouds wisping across the brilliant blue sky.  That could mean an interesting sunset this evening.  Let’s meet down at the Point just to see what happens.  Sunset is at 8:27 PM.  It should be pleasant.  There is a lovely breeze keeping the biting insects away.

And sometimes they don't.
And sometimes they don’t.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Maybe it will look something like this. Maybe it won't. We'll have to wait and be surprised.
Maybe it will look something like this. Maybe it won’t. We’ll have to wait and be surprised.

Today’s joys:  The freshening breeze blowing the heat and humidity out to sea; the hummingbirds flitting around the scrounger’s garden; the first zinnia bloom of the season; the increase in the number of bluebirds hanging out here at the ranch; bumblebees enjoying the lavender.

Just because.
Just because.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

12 thoughts on “A Monday meander

  1. If we could all learn to love ourselves, perhaps we could learn to tolerate, if not love, others. Perhaps we could end the sickness of violence that is permeating our world. Some days it’s hard to believe, to hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No answers for you, Robin, but thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us. (The hummingbird in flight is amazing. I like the yucca plant, too–and the splendiferous sunsets.) Today was a beautiful day here, too. We took my mom out to lunch, and sat outside afterwards along side Wissahickon Creek and felt the sunshine and watched the ducks. Sometimes you just have to be in the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think Tara Brach is a great speaker and I like her grounded energy.
    I’ve been attempting to move closer to understanding, forgiving and loving myself better these past few years. Working through old patterns, trying to look at the world with different eyes. I’d say we’re making progress, wouldn’t you? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post, Robin. Thank you for sharing your beautiful, amazing photos and heartfelt thoughts and quotes. That baby bunny! ❤ ❤ And I love the meaning of Virginia Creeper. I didn’t know that. And I am not familiar with Tara Brach. I will have to look her up.
    Have a great Tuesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Mary, and thank you. 🙂 The baby bunnies have my heart, too. Then they grow up and start raiding my gardens. I think we finally got our fencing worked out so I don’t have to “grrrrr!” at them anymore.

      Like

  5. Sometimes the world is just to terrible to contemplate. Sometimes, maybe even at the same time, it is too wonderful to comprehend. We had a little rabbit visit our campsite up north day before yesterday. And we had wonderful sunrises (we were on Lake Huron) and bright yellow buttercups, and pure blue skies for one day anyway. I’ll get around to sharing it all after I get the wet camping gear dried out and put away. Love your Wordless Wednesday shot a lot too!!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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